Addressing the event, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said that although the war ended 43 years ago, the toxic chemicals that the US army sprayed over Vietnam have left enduring pains and wounds, affecting millions of Vietnamese people and their offspring.
Vietnam has approximately 4.8 million AO victims, millions of whom are also struggling with disease and poverty, in desperate need of healthcare and rehabilitation support.
Tien stressed that as part of efforts to implement the Party and Government’s policies to deal with AO consequences and support AO victims, the health ministry issued Decision No. 5305/QD-BYT on November 24, 2017 which approved a project to care for victims in the 2018-2021 period.
The project aims to improve the health and living quality of victims, helping them better integrate into society through measures to timely diagnose and treat their health problems; enhance the capacity of healthcare facilities and communities; and expand networks that provide healthcare and rehabilitation services for AO victims and people with disabilities.
Head of the ministry’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management, Luong Ngoc Khue, said that initially, the project plans to cover 10 provinces and cities – namely Lao Cai, Thai Nguyen, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Dong Thap, and Ben Tre – at a total cost of 72.3 billion VND, mostly from the State budget.
However, on August 2, 2018, the ministry decided to add Ha Tinh into the list, raising total localities benefiting from the project to 11 and total capital to 76.16 billion VND.
Within the project, the ministry will hold training courses for concerned localities and agencies on diseases and deformities related to AO, methods to verify chemical infection, and financial issues during the implementation of the project.